Saints Francis & Clare Catholic school takes top place in the state of Indiana in their first year of participating in an online math program. Several students earned top awards as well. The First in Math® program fits well with Saints Francis & Clare school’s existing technology program. Students complete online math games to earn virtual sticker awards.
‘We jumped into the First in Math online math program this year a couple of months later than other schools but it didn’t prevent us from making up for lost time and coming out ahead,’ said Mrs. Betty Popp, principal. The awards presented to the school were based on play from August to the end of April. SSFC introduced the program to students in November. Popp also explained how the program fits well at SSFC, “Our students in grades 4-8 are able to take their iPads home each day and play as often as they like. Students in grades K-3 have access during school via MacBooks and iPads and are able to log on at home with their personal login information.”
The school encouraged students to participate by announcing top players of the week after their all school mass on Friday. Students received special lanyards and top classrooms received a traveling trophy for the week.
In a surprise visit to the school, First in Math representative Barbara Asteak presented awards to top players and the school for its achievement. Asteak, Vice President of Suntex International said, ”The greatest benefit of FIM is it makes students excited about AND proficient in MATH. Students acquire confidence and fundamental skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives”.
The school received a Principal Plaque for Outstanding Math Achievement and the school’s top five players were recognized for their top achievements in the school. The top five included a brother and sister. SSFC was 1 of 5000 schools across America participating in the First in Math program with a total of 1.5 million students during the 2012-13 school year. It is looking forward to next year, when students will have the entire year to compete beginning August 1st through July 31st.
FIM started in 2002. It’s based on the 24 game which was invented in 1988.
The First in Math program covers the six foundational skills required for advanced mathematics, including basic facts, fractions, decimals, integers, exponents and order of operations. Students play the wide variety of games—during free time at school and by logging in to play from home—earning virtual stickers that accrue like points to their individual, classroom, school and district-wide score. The friendly competition, makes for a lively, motivating experience that not only engages students in math practice, but can actually further enhance the overall culture of success at the school.
First in Math is entirely web-based, which means that students can practice math skills from anywhere with an Internet connection. This program also includes teacher tools to help students get started, track individual student progress, and keep them motivated throughout the school year.
It has already helped millions of students achieve proficiency in basic and advanced math skills in thousands of schools across the country. Numerous school districts have seen standardized test results in math improve dramatically as a result of using the program.
The combination of “deep practice” and immediate feedback is the heart of the First in Math program. This methodology helps students grasp and understand difficult concepts by breaking them down into manageable segments and providing instant feedback to help them make adjustments to their technique to improve their skills, similar to the way students would receive feedback in the physical realm when playing sports, for example. First in Math provides this vital feedback loop that’s missing from most curricula. The game-style format engages students so they willingly spend many more hours a week practicing math.
You can learn more about the program by clicking this link: http://explore.firstinmath.
You can learn about the inventor of the 24 game and the First In Math program, Robert Sun, who was a Catholic School student from the time he and his family emigrated to the U.S. Until his graduation from St. Frances DeSales in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. http://explore.firstinmath.